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by Ray Carlson

Q. I am trying Twitter and wanted to send a message to my followers about a website. Twitter only allows 140 characters per message, but the website address is so long I do not have space to explain what the website is about. What should I do?

A. The key is to abbreviate the website address. There are websites that will do this for you. The first one that became popular is called Go to that website, and enter the long address in the box provided. A short address at the TinyURL webpage will be provided by that website. The new address will be where the xxxxxx is a code created for the specific web address you entered. Use that address in your Twitter message or in an email where you do not want the address to extend over more than one line. That website permanently stores the long address and the brief one allowing continued future use. Be careful, though, if someone you don’t know gives you such an abbreviated address. It could be hiding a fake address that will try to steal information from you. A responsible person will use That address will take you to the TinyURL website and show you the full address before you decide if you want to go to that address. As a result, you have a chance to see if the full address does not appear related to the suggested content.

Published: Courier 8/16/09 - Page 5C